10 things to visit in Baie-Saint-Paul
Taking Le Massif de Charlevoix train from Quebec City to visit Charlevoix region was a must do for me when in the area. Charlevoix is part of UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve where a big meteor fell down 360 million years ago.
Both Baie-Saint-Paul and La Malbaie towns lie in a valley. La Malbaie has 9,000 inhabitants while the whole Charlevoix region around 30,000 inhabitants on 6,000 square kilometers. The region consists of 12 villages altogether. Like I mentioned already, the region lies on the half crater – Les Eboulements is the area where the meteor fell down million years ago. According to the research, Isle aux/Coudres used to be part of Africa back in time.
Another curiosity? In Le Malbaie pregnant whales are always seen, especially at certain time of the year so if you get lucky definitely put this on your bucket list.
10 things to visit in Baie-Saint-Paul
- Habitat 07 is an ecological house with own solar system and grass on top of the roof. Most of the things are made from reused material. Trying to make the area greener and greener, using for example brown bins with compost from food rests. The Habitat 07 house is situated on the beach next to Katabatik agency who I did kayaking on St. Lawrence river with.
- Motorbike signs outside of 20 restaurants and businesses around the town that welcome motorbikes with services such as battery plugs and clothes for cleaning bikes. Soon they will have a necessary bike kit too. Something for a bike lover such as myself.
- Microbrewery got here to do a project for the road to put the wires under the pavement. Now making a bit more expensive beer but as far as I heard, a very delicious one.
- There’s more than 35 art galleries in such a small town of around 8,000 inhabitants. For example, Chez Urbain is a popular shop offering extensive gift selection and Iris is the famous art gallery.
- 7 famous painters spend here every summer and are painting in a studio. The town offers 1,5 km of attractions and festivals with painters on the streets talking to people. Even the locals buy things in the galleries and souvenir shops here. The paintings can be found then in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Baie-Saint-Paul (Musée d’Art Contemporain) where I also attended Marc Seguin exhibition.
- We could not refuse to enter a chocolate factory La Chocolaterie du Village where they use less cocoa butter to get more flavor instead. The factory here was made from scratch in 1998 after its owners moved in Baie-Saint-Paul from outside of Montreal. They also use a special technique to paint the chocolate flowers with different colors. Honey and chocolate mix is also very popular for both tourists and locals. The factory now offers guided tours for groups and has 3 other selling points.
- Sacred Heart Church from 1963 is one of the attractions. The first church burnt, the one we can see now is the 5th stone one.
- Lunch at the popular bakery Pain D’Exclamation situated at 398, rue Saint-Étienne. Great sandwiches and pastries both sweet and salted.
- Hotel Le Ferme is a must see. One of the most interesting hotel concepts I have been to offers Sunday market with local products, but also tasty Les Labours restaurant where you can enjoy a delicious dinner with your friends or family. Need more relax? How about a candle massage in its Spa du Verger.
- From Baie-Saint-Paul it takes only 45 minutes by car to get to the two national parks protected by UNESCO and the Government that pay attention to the special landscape affected by the meteor fall. Grands-Jardins park close to Baie-Saint-Paul is great for canoe, has an easy access path; while Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-
Malbaie close to Le Malbaie is a park with the 800m cliff path, the flat bottom boat cruise, kayak, bike and fishing pole rentals. I wish I had a chance to visit both parks but fever and sinus infection were stronger than me and I had to cancel via ferrata in the mountains.
Many thanks to Tourism Charlevoix and Tourism Quebec for helping me out with 10 things to visit in Baie-Saint-Paul and surroundings. I really appreciate their human treatment and all the laughs when visiting the unique places in the region.
*** It took me 4 hours to write this post.